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Full text of "Byzantine Churches In Constantinople"

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which still retains it, the church of S. George in the quarter of Phanar.
Architectural Features
Owing to the numerous additions and alterations introduced into the original fabric, both before and since the Turkish conquest, the original plan of the building is not immediately apparent. Nor does the interior, with its heavy piers, raised floor, and naked walls correspond to the accounts given of its former splendour and beauty* A careful study will, however, unravel the tangled scheme which the actual condition of the church presents, and detect some traces of the beauty which has faded and passed away. The building might be mistaken for a domed church with four aisles, two narthexes, and a parecclesion. But notwithstanding all the disguises due to the changes it has undergone, the original church was unquestionably an c ambulatory ' church. It had, moreover, at one time a third narthex, of which now only the foundations remain on the west side of the church. The present outer narthex is in five bays, covered by dome vaults on transverse arches, and is paved with hexagonal tiles. The centre bay is marked by transverse arches of greater breadth and projects slightly on the outside, forming a plain central feature. At the north end a door led to the third narthex, but has now been built up ; at the south end is a door inserted in Turkish times. To the south of the central bay the exterior is treated with plain arcades in two orders of brick ; to the north these are absent, probably on account of some alterations. At the south end the narthex returns round the church in two bays, leading to the parecclesion.
The inner narthex is in four bays covered with cross-groined vaults without transverse arches, and is at present separated from the body of the church by three clumsy hexagonal piers, on to which, as may be seen in the photograph (Plate XXXVIL), the groins descend in a very irregular manner.
In the inner part of the church is a square central area covered by a lofty drum-dome of twenty-four concave